Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Personality Tree

I have to write this prequel before I start writing about my Dad and I. Have you ever read Personality Tree by Florence Littauer? My friends and I read it while we were at the uni and the book's helped us A LOT in understanding ourselves and one another.

Basically there are four main personality types:

1. Choleric.

They're basically born leaders. They know what they want and they're not afraid in being assertive. They may be seen as "bossy" people. They love being in control and they get a lot of things accomplished. They are goal-oriented and they love challenges.

2. Sanguine.

They're the life of the party. They LOVE being in the spotlight and they crave for attention and praise more than others. They're fun, bubbly, and they have lots of friends. However, their attention span is usually short, so they're not really focused people. They're those people who forget where they put their keys or even their cars.

3. Melancholy.

They're the deep thinkers and they have a great memory in remembering details. They thrive on details. Since they have a great memory, they tend to hold grudges. They're sensitive and they love planning ahead of time. They're organized and they love routine. They can also be perfectionists in some areas in their lives. If you see someone organizing their books in alphabetical order, then he or she is a melancholy.

4. Phlegmatic.

They're peace lovers. They are low-key types of people. They might seem lazy as they aren't ambitious like cholerics. They are easygoing, patient, and calm. They're good listeners and they avoid conflicts. However, they are unenthusiastic and they lack discipline. They're also shy and reticent.

However, there can be combinations of two personalities with different percentages:

1. Sanguine/Choleric.

2. Melancholy/Phlegmatic.

3. Choleric/Melancholy.

4. Sanguine/Phlegmatic.

I belong to the Melancholy/Phlegmatic combination. My Melancholy percentage is 80%, whereas my Phlegmatic percentage is 20%. My husband has never taken the test, but I'm pretty sure that he's also a Melancholy/Phlegmatic though his Phlegmatic percentage is way bigger than his Melancholy percentage.

If you read my earlier post entitled My Brother and I, you can now guess which personality traits he has since he's the opposite of me. He's a Sanguine/Phlegmatic with a bigger percentage of Sanguine than Phlegmatic. Sanguine people are charmers he he he he he...

My mother, on the other hand, is a Sanguine/Choleric. She's a charmer and when she wants to do something, she'll be SO determined in doing it until it's done (if possible without too much rest). Usually Phlegmatics would feel somewhat uncomfortably pressured by Cholerics since Cholerics would want to push the "unenthusiastic" Phlegmatics who love to do things on their own pace and time (i.e. leisurely).

If you want to know which group you belong to, go here and take the test:

In the same site there're also a better description of each personality trait's weaknesses and strengths.

If you can, it'd be MUCH better for you to read the book since there are other explanations which I can't possibly write down here.

Basically speaking, you can't be a combination of Sanguine/Melancholy or Choleric/Phlegmatic since they are in contrast with one another. However, I know some people who were born Sanguine who were taught to be Melancholy, thus they may show some Melancholy sides due to the upbringing, as well.

Funnily enough, usually opposite attracts and that's how problems arise. A Choleric who marries a Phlegmatic may at first feel peaceful since the Phlegmatic has no huge ambitions. However, over time the Choleric might get irritated since the Phlegmatic isn't enthusiastic about most things. Thus the Choleric would try to push the Phlegmatic, yet the stubborn Phlegmatic would refuse to be pushed.

A Sanguine who marries a Melancholy might feel awed that the Melancholy is so deep and analytical at first. But then the Sanguine might be driven crazy by the Melancholy's love for planning way ahead of time. A Sanguine doesn't like to be tied down with plans. A Sanguine loves spontaneity and sometimes the happy-go-lucky Sanguine might hurt the Melancholy who's basically sensitive.

Problems arise if you don't know who you're dealing with and how you have to deal with them. That's why I think the book's GREAT. ;-D

One more link. I found a table comparing Kierseyan Temperament with this Personality Tree types.

Go here to see the table. It's located almost at the bottom of the page.

HEY!!! I just found this WONDERFUL site, as well...I think it explains this thing better than I do he he he...Go here:


  1. Hi Amel's Realm,
    A very informative post. Basic nature of every person is 'inborn'.
    Thanks for suggesting a wonderful site.
    Good luck.

  2. Surjit: It's my pleasure. ;-D Glad you enjoyed reading it.

  3. I'm Melancholy Choleric although from reading the descriptions I would have said Phlegmatic Choleric and I see I do have a good dose of the Phlegmatic too

    Melancholy 35%
    Phlegmatic 28%
    Sanguine 8%
    Choleric 30%

    I guess I'm all over the place :-) Thanks for sharing this Amel. Fish

  4. Fish: Interesting!!! THANKS for sharing your result. ;-D

    To have a more accurate result, you can actually ask a friend to do the test for you and compare the results. ;-D

  5. My result was Phlegmatic/Melancholy. From you descriptions I already knew that is what I would be, though I thought I would be more Melancholy than Phlegmatic. I think I will take it again and let my husband answer for me -- he knows me better than anyone else! Thanks!

  6. Kathy: INTERESTING!!! THANKS for sharing the result. ;-D Yeah, do ask your husband to do the test for you. ;-D

  7. What an interesting test I am a sanguine/choleric. Its really interesting I don't know if I really am or not

  8. Dawn: Glad you enjoyed it. THANKS for sharing your result. ;-D Perhaps you can ask a friend or your sons to do the test for you. Getting a second opinion is never bad he he he...

  9. Well I know which two combinations I am without a shadow of a I am sure everyone who knows me ...knows this very well also. I am definitely Sanguine/Choleric....but, due to my childhood truama's I think I also have a twinge of melancholy thrown in there. Now my husband....100% Phlegmatic....and I think it comes from being the middle child in his family. and yes you are so correct...for the most part our relationship works...due to these differences...however, sometimes, I do get very aggravated that I am always the one to make all of the choices. Excellent post today amel...very interesting!!:)~Jackie

  10. Hey great site. I'm Melancholy Choleric
    Melancholy 28%

    Phlegmatic 20%

    Sanguine 25%

    Choleric 28%

    Pretty evenly divided no wonder I'm so confused all the time

  11. Shinade: Yes, you're quite right about the Melancholy addition. And you're also quite right about your hubby. What you described is a classic Choleric "problem" with a Phlegmatic he he he...

    Amber: WOW!!! Evenly distributed, eh? There should be only two basic personality traits. Either you learn the other two along the way or somebody taught you how to do it, 'coz a friend of mine also gets confused sometimes due to her upbringing. Her basic personality traits are different than the ones that her parents taught her he he he...

    Maybe you should get your hubby to do the test for you. How about that? ;-D

  12. NO, haven’t read about Personality Tree before...but I remember someone I know did say once that I’m Melancholy. Based on the description, I guess, I am Melancholy. I took the test and...tadaa...the result is I am Melancholy/Phlegmatic...45% Melancholy.

  13. Choc Mint Girl: WOOO HOOOO!!!

    THANKS for sharing your result, Crystal!!! So you have the same combination as my hubby he he he...

  14. Hi Amel,
    My husband is No 1 and I am no 3!

  15. Frasy: THANKS for sharing!!! ;-D INTERESTING!!!

    Seems that there are lots of Melancholies here in the comment section he he he...

  16. Melancholy Strength:6 Weakness:8
    Phlegmatic Strength:4 Weakness:4
    Sanguine Strength:5 Weakness:7
    Choleric Strength:5 Weakness:1

    Hihihi gimana nih Ci ?


  17. Irsan: Koko mah keliatannya tuh basic-nya mah Sanguine, entah digabung ama Phleg atau Melancholy...tapi berhubung satu dan lain hal mengembangkan sisi2 laennya hingga sama kuatnya he he he...